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How-to » Steering & Suspension » Suspension » How to Check for Loose or Worn Suspension Components
 Note: This is a general guide for all vehicles.

How to Check for Loose or Worn Suspension Components

Safety Tip:
Always wear safety glasses when working on your vehicle. Wear other personal protective equipment (PPE) when necessary, for example latex gloves or closed toe shoes.

Open your hood and locate the top of your suspension strut mounts/shock towers.
With your vehicle in park, have an assistant push down on the fender to simulate driving over bumps.
Inspect the upper shock mounts on the inside of the engine compartment and underneath the wheel well for damage.
Close your hood and secure your vehicle on a level surface, making sure your vehicle will not roll or lean when jacked up.
Inspect the vehicle ride height (coil springs, struts, or torsion bars). Some owner's manuals will have ride height specifications. The left and right side measurements should be equal.
Using a floor jack, lift up the front of your vehicle.
Secure the vehicle with jack stands on both sides for safety before starting any work. The pinch welds or the frame rails are the two best locations. Do not rely on the jack to hold the vehicle up while working.
Inspect all suspension grease boots for damage and make sure the boots are full of grease.
Inspect sway bar mounts and end linkage for loose, bent, or missing components. Any damaged linkage will need to be replaced.
Inspect the control arms for damage to the bushings and ball joints. Bushing kits and ball joints are available for replacement; however, replacing the control arm assembly is also an option.
Inspect the steering rack, steering box, steering column, and the inner tie rod linkage.
Inspect the outer tie rod ends for excessive play at the connection to the steering knuckle. You will also want to inspect the tie rod boots for damage.
Replace the necessary suspension system components and take the vehicle to a certified technician for proper alignment.
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